Susan McCraith

How did I get here?

I didn't take up art properly until Lockdown in Winter 2020. I am largely self taught though I have attended some short courses at Raw Umber Studios in Stroud and online with artist Jacob Dhein. I am currently studying online with the Slade School of Fine Art and the Sadie Valeri Atelier in California. I have also successfully completed a Diploma in Art Appreciation with the Art Institute. I call it my second career as my first career was in the wine industry. In fact I am a Master of Wine trying to become a Master of Art! Though it's only a local exhibition in Bath, I did win the 'Emerging Artist' award in 2023 for my Blue Glass Bottle oil painting entry.

As I learn and see more art I get inspired to try a variety of mediums and styles and I tend to have phases when I'll concentrate on oils or watercolour or charcoal. I love composing still life, I also love birds, big land and seascapes and the challenge of portraiture. I look for the light and try to form a connection with the viewer. I want my work to be alive and have meaning on another level.

As part of my learning process I sometimes look at a detail within a wonderful painting and try to emulate it. I call these artworks my Mini Masters. 

I live in the Cotswolds and love walking through the local villages where I might take my sketch book and do the occasional watercolour. I have also completed the West Highland Way in Scotland which was a big personal achievement and I did a watercolour sketch every day.

The other big exciting thing is that we've converted the loft so I can have an art studio instead of having to move my growing number of art supplies from room to room. 

My intention with this website is to record some of my journey so do sign up to my newsletter and see how I progress. I'm also on Facebook and Instagram where I post what I'm up to when I'm painting and sometimes when I'm not!

I hope you enjoy my artwork. Your support is very important to my practice so please do send me any suggestions or feedback. 



2024 - 44AD Associates Annual Exhibition - Static Energy

2023 - Bath Open Art Prize (winner of Emerging Artist Award)

2023 - Stroud Artists Cooperative Winter Exhibition

Why I love painting Still Life

I am increasingly drawn to paint Still Life. I find beauty in simple objects and enjoy composing groups and lighting to create a mood or atmosphere. Some objects are very symbolic, I have a fascination with eggs for example  - read my article on this. I've also painted a series of apples. Sometimes I will paint these in a realistic way or get my palette knife and then instinct takes over. I also like painting with a limited palette of just a few colours as I like the overall feeling of harmony that this can create.

A word on Authenticity, Art and Truth

I am completely amazed and in awe at what is possible with apps like Photoshop and Procreate but it does mean that we no longer know when we are looking at something whether it is real or not (whatever we mean by 'real'). Original art, where you can see and touch the brushstrokes from the hand of the artist, is unequivocally true and authentic and if you buy direct from the artist, it is even better to have that personal connection. I firmly believe original art will become more valuable in tomorrow's AI world.